BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana State University Billings is eliminating its theater program, its tennis teams and cutting 40 staff positions to address a projected $4.4 million budget shortfall due to decreased enrollment.

Chancellor Mark Nook announced the cuts Tuesday, which also include eliminating a design and drafting program at City College.

He says the university is eliminating the equivalent of 40 full-time positions, but some of the jobs are vacant and some are held by temporary employees. The university is laying off 17 people, including nine contract faculty.

Athletic Director Krista Montague says the men's and women's tennis programs are being eliminated, in part because the university can't repair its indoor tennis facility and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference does not sponsor tennis. The school will honor athletic scholarships or grant the students permission to transfer.

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